International Fraud Week: Protecting Seniors From Fraud

Our senior population is particularly vulnerable to con artists who want to take advantage of them.  Too often we hear of stories where an elderly person is scammed out of a large amount of money.  Published statistics show that five million elderly persons are financially victimized per year.  This age group totals 15% of the overall population but represents 1/3 of all victims of fraud.1

A few reasons why a senior citizen may be more likely to become the victim of fraud:

Reasons Senior Citizens May Be Victims of Fraud

  • They were raised to be polite and trusting
  • More likely to have substantial assets
  • Less likely to report fraud, as they don't wish to be viewed as impaired or needing assistance
  • Availability--they are at home during the day and can take unsolicited telephone calls and "drop by" visits

A criminal will prey upon these traits to achieve their own end goal of separating the senior from their money.

If you have seniors in your life, you can help make them more aware of fraudulent practices so that they are better equipped to deal with these situations.  Topics you should discuss include:

Help Seniors To Be Aware of Fraudulent Practices

  1. When unsolicited telephone callers ask for personal information, you should never respond.  It's not impolite to say no thank you and hang up.
  2. If a product or offer sounds "too good to be true,” it probably is.  No product is available to stop the aging process.
  3. Paying shipping and handling for a "free prize" isn't legitimate.  Most sweepstakes only benefit the organizer and the odds are not in your favor to "win.”
  4. Never give out credit card or Social Security numbers when you didn't initiate the call. 
  5. There are many "sound alike" charities that only contribute a tiny fraction of receipts to actual charitable pursuits.  Check out charities before giving. 
  6. Don't respond to high pressure tactics that the offer is only good for the day of the call.  This is an attempt to limit your ability to talk with others, so do not fall into this trap.

When we have seniors in our lives, it is up to us to help them become aware of the sophisticated techniques used by today's perpetrators of fraud.  Through discussion and awareness, they can avoid becoming a victim.

Contact us for more information on this topic and visit our SD Medallion webpage to learn more about the services that we offer

1NYC District Attorney's Office:  http://manhattanda.org/sites/default/files/Protecting_Elderly.pdf

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2019 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

our thoughts on

Syndicated Conservation Easements Create Ire in the IRS
Syndicated Conservation Easements Create Ire in the IRS
TCJA – Could 2019 Taxable Income be Higher than Projected?
TCJA – Could 2019 Taxable Income be Higher than Projected?
Belsnickel is Coming… Are You A Nice Boy or Girl?
Belsnickel is Coming… Are You A Nice Boy or Girl?

Register to receive our weekly newsletter with our most recent columns and insights.

Have a question? Ask us!

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us

contact us

Map of Pittsburgh Office
Pittsburgh

One PPG Place, Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

contactsd@schneiderdowns.com
p:412.261.3644     f:412.261.4876

Map of Columbus Office
Columbus

65 East State Street, Suite 2000
Columbus, OH 43215

contactsd@schneiderdowns.com
p:614.621.4060     f:614.621.4062

Map of Washington Office
Washington, D.C.

1660 International Drive, Suite 600
McLean, VA 22102